Michigan House Approves More Pandemic Grants for Businesses
Michigan lawmakers approved a $185 million funding package to help businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The maximum grant to a live venue would be $100,000.00. bill, which passed the House in a 96-6 vote, would use federal COVID-19 aid money at the state’s disposal to fund grant programs for several industries. The legislation now heads to the Michigan Senate and would need to pass that chamber and be signed by Whitmer to become law.
The bill includes $53 million for fitness centers, $30 million for convention and visitors bureaus, $25 million for community development financial institutions, $18 million for movie theaters, and $6.5 million for businesses that sell tickets to live music or entertainment events. There also is $10 million to help train and certify servers in places selling alcohol. The legislation also includes $17.7 million for refunding licensing fees for workers and businesses who were unable to work for several months of the pandemic.
“We still have job providers and workers suffering from the economic consequences of government shutdowns and the slow return back to normal. It has hurt many industries across our state, some more than others,” said the sponsor, House Appropriations Committee Chair Thomas Albert. The Lowell Republican said the $185 million is “exactly how we should be using these federal relief dollars that are available to the state.”
The state of Michigan sent more than $240 million to over 25,000 small businesses following earlier rounds of pandemic funding, with nearly 75% of the support going to restaurants, bars, retailers, and other businesses in the service industry, according to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office. Information on how to apply, as well as eligibility criteria, is available at www.michiganbusiness.org/covid19.